Bringing neighbours closer
Welcome to the Interreg V-A Latvia–Lithuania Programme 2014–2020!About the programme
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The drafting of the Programme was organised in compliance with partnership approach described in Commission delegated act 240/2014 of 7 January 2014, where partnership implies close cooperation between public authorities, economic and social partners and bodies representing civil society at national, regional and local levels throughout the whole programme cycle consisting of preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
Development Instruments Department of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia as future Managing Authority (MA) and Joint Secretariat (JS) of the Programme together with Joint Programming Committee (JPC) coordinated process of Programme`s preparation.
Preparation process started in 2019 when two meetings (in February in Vilnius, Lithuania and in September in Biržai, Lithuania) between the National Authority of the Republic of Latvia (functions fulfilled by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia) and the National Authority of the Republic of Lithuania (functions fulfilled by the Ministry of Interor of the Republic of Lithuania) were held. During the meetings a preliminary time plan and necessary steps of the programming process were scheduled by the National Authorities, as well as main changes in regulatory framework discussed.
For discussing and taking decisions on issues related to the Programme preparation, drafting the Programme document, its submission to the European Commission (EC) and update according to the EC comments, etc., the JPC was established. Prior establishment of the JPC, both National Authorities agreed on how to ensure that all types of stakeholders representing civil society at national, regional and local levels are involved within the programming process and how to create adequate consultative mechanisms and procedural arrangements with all relevant partners allowing for the Programme co-design, collection of feedback and information exchange during all programming stages.
Therefore, as the first step, both aforementioned National Authorities nominated permanent JPC members and their deputies representing national and regional levels from each Member State. National Authorities ensured that nominated members geographically cover proposed Programme territory, as well as by their functions, responsibilities and competences represent not only relevant fields, but also wide range of potential Programme beneficiaries. Representative from the EC participated in the work of the JPC as an observer. Thus one of the key tasks of the representatives of the national delegations of the both countries in the JPC throughout the whole programming cycle has been to exchange information regarding development of the Programme to relevant partners working in certain fields and come back with proposals to be discussed within the JPC and taken into account during programming process.
Both National Authorities launched early stage consultations with the main aim to collect first ideas for the Programme architecture, as well as to build strong foundation for coopearation and consultation channels. Prior starting the programming process the Consultative working group (CVG) was formed by the National Authority of the Republic of Latvia, consisting of representatives of regional level and line ministries. The CVG is an advisory group, it consulted the National Authority on the possible policy objectives, specific objectives and relevant activities to be introduced into the Programme in accordance with national and regional planning documents and strategies.
The National Authority of Lithuania also has coordinated the preparation of the joint opinion on the possible policy objectives, specific objectives and relevant activities.
Collected opinions served as a basis to filter initial possible areas of intervention for the Programme and simultaneously clearly indicated areas which should be further analysed to agree upon thematic concentration.
The 1st meeting of JPC took place on 25 February 2020 during which rules of procedure of the JPC were agrreed, draft legal framework and Programme area were discussed, opinions of both delegations on possible policy objectives, specific objectives and types of actions were exchanged, as well as indicative programming timeline was agreed on. The JPC decided that the Programme strategy will be developed by external expertise and authorised the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia to elaborate the terms of reference and to launch the procurement procedure. Procurement procedure resulted in October 2020 and the company Safege Baltija was selected to work on Programme strategy.
The 2nd JPC meeting took place online on 30 June 2020 during which the JPC appointed the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia as the Managing Authority and discussed several draft sections of Programme document.
The 3rd JPC meeting was organised on 25 November 2020, during which draft sections of Programme document were discussed, the external expertise provided by Safege Baltija for development of Programme strategy presented methodology on how it is planned to carry out the strategic socio-economical analysis, what data would need to be colleced and how it will be ensured that relevant stakeholders have the possibility to give their input to the Programme design.
Consequently, as the second step to ensure mid-term consultation, strategic socioeconomical analysis was launched with the main aim to provide in-depth analysis to the JPC on actual relevance of the pre-filtered possible cooperation areas to the existing territorial needs and opportunities. Within the development of the strategic socioeconomical analysis a survey was launched in order to involve all relevant stakeholders to gather bottom-up information on what is seen from their perspective as the key challenges to be addressed by the Programme, what key themes should be supported, whether there are certain project ideas already on the table and in which spheres, and/or what would be the necessary partnership to realise them. In addition, it was possible to indicate any other recommendations or proposals to be taking into account during programming.
Intentionally, survey was designed in a user-friendly manner as the aim was to collect feedback from potential project implementers in the Programme area. Therefore, thematic scope menu from EC regulations was explained and translated into themes allowing respondents to clearly envision and understand whether their current needs, challenges and topics of interests can be addressed by the Programme. In addition, further to facilitate comprehensive approach, the survey was available in both languages of the Programme participating countries – in Latvian and in Lithuanian. In addition, to ensure wide reach and good response to the survey, it was distributed through all Programme communication channels – Interrreg V-A Latvia – Lithuania Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2014 -2020 (Programme 2014 – 2020) social media and website, as well as it was sent directly to Programme 2014 – 2020 beneficiaries. Simultaneously, JPC members also distributed the survey through their communication channels to all relevant stakeholders.
The results of the survey were analysed and discussed during the 4th JPC meeting on 29 January 2021. Based on the survey results and the summary of the most demanded areas of intervention is more demanded by the relevant partners, a proposal for the Programme thematic scope was designed and draft Programme strategy prepared. To ascertain that the designed Programme thematic scope indeed corresponds to the demands of the prospective project implementers, challenges and indicative Programme`s interventions identified by external experts, on 27 May 2021 the focus group involving representatives from NGOs and line ministries of Latvia and Lithuania was organised. The results of focus group were taken into account by defining more precise focus and scope for cross border cooperation challenges, target groups and indicative activities.
The 5th JPC meeting was organized on 10 June 2021 and during it decisions were taken on necessary corrections in the Programme document in order to submit it for public hearing.
Public consultations were launched from 23 July till 22 August 2021 in both participating countries. In order to discuss the proposed thematic focus, priorities and other implementation issues of the Programme, on 10 August 2021 was organised joint webinar for all interested members of the society from Latvia and Lithuania. The information about public hearing and the Programme document in English, Latvian and Lithuanian, was published on webpage www.latlit.eu. The information about launched public hearing was sent to the relevant planning regions and municipalities in Latvia and Lithuania, published in the Facebook account of Interreg V-A Latvia – Lithuania Cross Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020, as well as in national websites in Latvia and Lithuania.
In webinar took part 77 participants, representing national, regional and local authorities, NGOs, as well as Programme bodies.
Between JPC meetings exchange of opinions and decision taking was ensured via JPC written procedures.
Discussions between National Authorities and the MA were organised in form of Joint Task Force meetings (in total 6 online meetings took place).
22 July, 2021
22 July, 2021
22 July, 2021
Programme document submitted to the European Commission, 11, March 2022
Last updated: 19.05.2022 07:06